Now that summer is behind us, it's time to look forward to sweater weather, cozy fires, and warm drinks. It's also time to prepare your apartment for this season, too. The more you do now, the less you'll be burdened with later.It's imperative that as our seasons change, your building is prepared internally and externally. As fall starts to draw more tenants inside again, more strain will be placed on your building's infrastructure. If you don't prepare for this seasonal shift, you can run into nasty problems during the winter months.
Your End of Summer Apartment Maintenance List
These jobs may not be on the top of your current to-do list, but they should definitely be done before fall is in full swing.
1) Clean your gutters: When the season changes, you want to check your gutters and ensure no obstructions have lodged themselves in there over the summer. If you cleaned them in the spring, they should still be fairly clear. If you ran out of time and this job got skipped over, you should complete it now before it gets too cold out. If you postpone this job once more, the wind and rain that accompanies our fall and winter months will leave you with a leaky roof and clogged gutters.
2) Animal-proof your exterior: As your tenants start to spend more time inside, so will various critters and pests looking for a warm nesting space. Discourage squirrels, skunks, and raccoons from becoming unwanted tenants in your apartment attic or basement by installing metal screening over possible entry points. Proactive maintenance is cheap compared to extermination bills and future damage repair.
3) Check for mold: The past summer was hot and moist, making a perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold infestations like to plague bathrooms, in particular, so focus the majority of your attention there. Carefully inspect under the sinks and stop it before it spreads onto the floor and walls of the unit. Check for the presence of mold during your next unit inspections.
4) Clean the apartment vents: Cleaning the vents well is a task that will help extend the life of other systems in your building. It's a good idea to act on, especially if you've experienced a pest infestation or mold in recent months; it will get rid of any animal nests that have been built. Having less dust build-up will put less strain on your heating and cooling systems, too. Since they'll labor less, your energy and utility bills won't be as high. Your tenants will also have better air quality.
5) Inspect your insulation: During the summer, it's not uncommon for weather stripping or caulk around windows and doors to dislodge and loosen. Checking for air leaks and problem areas before the cold sets in will keep your apartment well insulated. You'll also save less on your heating bills.
6) Inspect your heating system: Like most things, it's easier to do proactive maintenance than foot a huge surprise repair bill. Take the time to look at it now for problems instead of calling a repairman in the middle of the night during a snow storm. Check to see that the filters are in good condition and that your furnace is working efficiently and properly. You don't want to be receiving complaints from your tenants about the building's temperature. A faulty furnace could also be the source of a fire, so take care to see it's in working order.
Smart and proactive landlords prepare their apartments for the change in season. Doing so keeps a building in good shape. Completing your end-of-summer maintenance list will help keep your tenants happy, your bills low, and your problems minimal.